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 Post subject: Rezon (Arcade) 3/17/14 EDIT
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 3:45 am 

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Joined: 24 Sep 2008
Posts: 732
Manufacturer Taito/Allumer
Developed and Published by Allumer
Release Date: 1991


Rezon is a game that was released in 1991, developed and published mainly by Allumer, with the Taito name somehow incorporated along the way as visible in some Rezon PCB sets. Allumer seemed to have no shame ripping off other famous shmups of the time. In this instance, Rezon is clearly inspired by Irem's R-Type series.

Its hard to say otherwise that Rezon is actually a blatent soulless rip-off of the R-Type series. There's a certain atmosphere that R-Type, R-Type II, and even Pulstar manage to create and craft as their own, but Rezon just cannot do the same. There's just something about shameless cloning of other games that bugs me to no end. One example:

Image Image

As can easily be noticed, there is barely any effort made to make Rezon look different than R-Types, and the player ship and enemies in Rezon are very R-Type-ish. Even the hud layout with point and lives display is exactly the same.

Before I even go into the gameplay, instead of saving sound and music for the end of the review, I'm just getting it out of the way here. Short and simple, its horrible and possibly the worst in a shmup. Most of the music is just a 5 second sound clip being looped over and over throughout the stage. Stage 1/4 and boss theme are the only two that go up to 10 seconds, leaving the entire game's soundtrack able to be listened to in 1 sitting within 2 minutes. Keep this in mind as you take everything else that follows in and imagine the insanity.

Focusing more on the core gameplay, Rezon is similar to R-Type, featuring two adjustable pods on top and bottom of the ship that are powered up by means of Red, Blue, and Yellow powerup pickups. These pods can block normal bullets, but the game will present itself to be a nightmare despite the shielding element. There are also speed up and speed down pickups just like the source game. Rezon might possibly be one of the most frustrating evil hori shooters to exist. Allumer truly had some sick twisted evil minds behind the making of this game. There are six stages in all, pretty much all of them unimaginably difficult.

The pods prove to be something that hold the game back several notches in terms of playing. They work by adjusting opposite of your forward/backward movement. You can technically hold A to prevent the pods from aiming behind you as you move forward or vice versa, but this is barely helpful as holding A doesn't do anything else with a lack of any sort of charge shot. Autofire is an absolute must in this game, as you don't stand any chance in hell w/o it. Rezon is actually a 1-button game, so I just explained the controls to you in one sentence and everything it can do, leaving no way to have the pods remain frozen while you move freely without holding the button. This is a major flaw for this game and makes it unbearably difficult, which is a shame since I believe this game definitely could have done with a pod freezing button of some sort.

Rezon is as a memo-heavy game, as is probably expected. Everything thrown at you has to be conquered with precision and perfection, because if you die you will be thrown back to a checkpoint. The checkpoints in this game are fairly brutal too, as they will often throw you back a few minutes from where you were last. Not knowing how to do even 1 part in this game means that you will likely get stuck and die several hundred times over before you figure it out. This is where the immense amount of frustration begins to kick in, as there comes one point in this game where it begins to feel like it almost isn't your fault that you're dying countless times to the mercy(or lack) of this game...and that point is the stage 4 boss, given you don't give up before even reaching that point:


Now, THIS asshole is the reason I have given up trying to even clear this game. There are very few moments in shmups that anger me so much, but all I see when I get to this boss is an excuse to just rob people of their money, putting any idea of fairness or well-designed challenge to rest. Keeping in mind that the hitbox on the ship is relatively large, normally your pods would block bullets, but they do nothing in this fight as everything goes through them. You have a giant boss with tons of health that moves all around the right and middle of the screen periodically shooting beams at you. At the same time, it constantly releases small yellow drones that fly around you and shoot long yellow beam shots directly at you every other second per drone. Also, there are small rocks that zoom by that block your shots, and large rocks that do the same thing, take considerable damage to destroy, but decide to reach the left side of the screen, hang there for several seconds, then slowly leave the screen on the right side. Now remember that while dodging all of these things, you can barely get your pods to shoot straight. The boss takes considerable time to kill because of all of this, and just in case all of that wasn't bad enough, dying takes you 3 minutes backwards into the stage, meaning you'll struggle to recover and get back to the boss just to die more bullshit deaths.

I'm not saying this boss is impossible to beat as I have done it only once, but the unbelievable amount of struggling that you have to endure during the fight and how many times it will take you to beat this mother fucker will drive any sane person away from this game. This is the major wall to conquer in this game as if you can pull it off, everything else is easier in comparison but still required to be learned since this is Allumer we're talking about.

EDIT: A surprising number of videos have popped up on YT within the past year, and I'm come to be surprised that PCB w/autofire may have more slowdown than Mame possibly could. This changes everything and makes the stage 4 boss a lot less of a threat since you have more time to react to everything...I'm starting to realize I initially wrote this review out of pure hatred for this game but I suppose discoveries like this happen and things must be amended.

In conclusion, the soundtrack is terrible and will drive you insane. The game barely has any inspiration behind it and is incredibly difficult to the point that it will make you question your sanity. The challenge behind the game comes from it being terribly designed in some spots and leaving you with an incredibly unorthodox solution to a couple spots in the last stage. There really is not a point to play this game at all unless you are a fan of R-Type and need a different challenge.

Final Updated Score: 5/10

Allumer had some interesting ideas in place, but the execution could have been better and the need for a 2nd button to freeze the pods would have at least given people a reason to play this game if the soundtrack weren't so garbage. You truly have to be a masochist in order to beat this game...and if you do then I will bow to you forever for having determination that I cannot imagine existing in anybody. This game is the embodiment of evil in hori form. I'd be surprised if the game itself drove you insane before the music does...
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